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The Unchanging Spouse

by Debbie Holland


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Q. I received a copy of your catalog and the two small books, Why Should I Be the First to Change? and The Key. Oh, how blessed I have been! But, I have a question. How am I to handle a situation where the man sees it as the woman's place to change and he's not at fault for anything? He feels everyone else is to blame and his temple is clean. The woman is willing, but the man is critical.

Charity [love] suffereth long, and is kind; charity [love] envieth not; charity [love] vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity [love] never faileth...
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

A. One of the keys that changed Nancy's and my life is learning what God's Love is and how it differs from human love. Most Christians are functioning on human love; this is why so many of us have become confused and disheartened. God's Love is not dependent upon our feelings, our circumstances, or the other person's responses, as is human love - God's Love is unconditional. These are the questions we all need to ask ourselves: Are we willing to lay our lives down so that God can pour His Agape Love through us to our spouses? Will we give God our will and our lives to work through to reach them? Are we willing to be the first to change even if our spouses are critical and don't think they have a problem?

Agape [God's Love] is a new way of loving. It's a way of loving that is totally opposite from the way the world teaches and is probably completely opposite from the way you have been used to, even as a Christian. God's Agape Love is not just for women, nor is it just for married people. Wherever there is a relationship, you need God's Agape Love! It's a moment-by-moment choice to "love God" and to lay our lives down to Him so His Love can be manifested through us. We can't change the circumstances we are in. We can't change our past, and we can't make everything turn out the way we want. But we certainly can: 1) Keep our eyes focused on Jesus; 2) Yield ourselves totally to Him; and 3) Allow His Love to flood our souls and overflow into all our experiences today. When we are able to keep focused on Jesus, three things will happen:

  1. We will be able to stop strangle-holding and suffocating our spouses in order to meet our desperate need for love.
  2. We will stop trying to conform them into our desired image of what we want them to be.
  3. We will be able to trust God to fix what He wants fixed in them, in His timing and in His way. God always does a much better job of changing and transforming someone than we ever could.

We need to be willing to love with God's Love, even if our circumstances and our situations never change. Our motivation is wrong if we are loving only to have circumstances or the other person change. That's conditional human love and not God's Love at all. Even if what we see happening as a result of our loving is totally opposite from what we would like to see happen, as long as we love "God's way," He promises that "His Love will never fail!"

When we love with God's Love, we won't feel like doormats! So many spouses are petrified of being "taken advantage of," or being "stepped on," or "walked all over." If God has directed us to love (and we know He has with our mates), then we must know that God will not allow us to be taken advantage of because what we are doing is exactly what He has commanded us to do. God, then, assures us that He will be our armor, our protection, our discernment, and our wisdom. He promises us that if we love Him first, He will give us the Wisdom and the Power to love wisely. [If there is an adulterous situation or circumstances that are dangerous or abusive to you or your children, then take immediate steps to remedy the situation: seek Godly counsel, temporarily separate if God leads you to and use the time to seek God and His Will.]

Are you willing to be the first to change? Father God, give me spiritual depth and insight into Your ultimate Lovehelp me to be willing to love and be loved God's Wayin the name of Jesus - Rabbi, Master, Teacher.

Debbie Holland
King's High Way Manager


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